Appearance: A nice deep mahogany brown with a sudsy cap of tan-colored foam. The head was nicely long-lasting compared to other gluten-free beers I've had and left some lacing down the glass.
Aroma: Exactly like cherry cola, no doubt about it. Sweet fruit with a sour edge and a caramel depth.
Taste: This beer starts out with malty flavors of dark honey and milk chocolate before swirling out into some dark stone fruitiness. The cherry cola flavor sits in the middle of the sip, but the beer has enough depth and creaminess that it doesn't end up tasting like soda. Spicy flavors wake up as the beer warms, giving it a mulled cider quality.
As a stand-alone beer, I'd say this is a great sipper when you're in the mood for something sweet and roasty. As a dubbel, it falls short of the mark. It especially needs more body and a deeper roasted flavor to balance the sweet notes. Sorghum makes a very good base for gluten-free beers, but it can be difficult to approximate quite the same deeply roasted flavors necessary for so many classic beer styles.
Food Pairings: I actually liked this beer even better with food. A good stew really smooths out the flavors and compliments the sweetness.
Have you tried this beer? Any other gluten-free beers to recommend?
(Image: Emma Christensen)